Pierce Brosnan during recent a PR campaign for his up coming movies candidly admitted his Bond was not good enough. Some of his most loyal fans and supporters surly felt sucker punched.
Actor, who played Ian Fleming’s secret agent in four Bond films, describes his portrayal of 007 as ‘tame’
Pierce Brosnan has dismissed his own run as James Bond “never good enough” and admitted he hates watching himself as 007.
“I felt I was caught in a time warp between Roger [Moore] and Sean [Connery],” said Brosnan. “It was a very hard one to grasp the meaning of, for me. The violence was never real, the brute force of the man was never palpable. It was quite tame, and the characterisation didn’t have a follow-through of reality, it was surface. But then that might have had to do with my own insecurities in playing him as well.”
He added: “I have no desire to watch myself as James Bond. ‘Cause it’s just never good enough. It’s a horrible feeling.”
Brosnan’s other films as 007 were 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies and 1999’s The World is not Enough. His Bond debut in 1995 followed a six-year hiatus for Ian Fleming’s secret agent caused by legal disputes over rights, and was generally well-received. Even the poorly-reviewed Die Another Day, with its invisible cars and cameo by Madonna, was a huge box office hit: it was the highest-grossing instalment of the series at that stage.
To put things in perspective we need to remember the source of bad feelings was how Brosnan was treated after Die Another Day, like it or hate it the movie made a lot of money. Brosnan and Bond fans were promised a fifth outing that would more than likely scale back the over the top anniversary spectacle the producers put on in 2002.
However after the death of the person in charge of the franchise in 2004 the series was thrown in to chaos as the new owner took charge ultimately hiring another actor to take over and reboot franchise.
To put it in today’s terms it would be equivalent to fans being told after Skyfall that Craig would return only to have a new face revealed this November before filming on the Bond 24 starts. The major difference today is Craig has a signed legal contract on his side where as Brosnan only had an option for another, however if this were to happen surely it would be understandable how this could be upsetting fans and the actors involved.
For a little more background after Die Another Day Bond 21 as it was then called was tentatively scheduled for a fall of 2004 release. And the producers were hard at work…. working on a Halle Berry Jinx spin off. As the stories goes Brosnan was trying to find the proper material for his possible swan song and approached the Bond producers about making Casino Royale into a movie. When MGM traded Sony for the rights to Casino Royale a few years earlier the producers felt the story was “unfilmable” so it sat on the back burner as one of the few remaining original Fleming titles in their arsenal.
Here is where the story deviates a little, some claim after the approach from Brosnan among others a script treatment was ordered. Michal G. Wilson has stated the treatment was well under way long before anybody approached with ideas on how to film it. MGW ‘s self-serving recollection might be debatable however it is fairly certain the first draft of the Casino Royale script was done with Brosnan’s Bond in mind.
Things happened as they happened, Bond 21 became Casino Royale and a new actor was hired. The backlash over “firing” Brosnan MGM predicted a year earlier came to pass. In response the Sony spin machine went into full swing, after all there where were billions of dollars at stake. Keeping the well known franchise going come hell or high water was paramount. Part of the nastiness as an attack on the previous Bond and his last film, and to a lesser extent the series as it existed for forty years.
Some might argue his was just fanboys being fanboys, more fans of the franchise than a particular actor they tend turn on the previous actor after a new one is announced. And there is a history to demonstrate this behaviour being true. However what was new was the producers and studios involved staking swipes at the last actor as well.
Brosnan for his part was not innocent in the creation of this ill will, when asked he made more than a few disparaging remarks about the producers and his treatment.As late as 2008-09 had claimed to have never watched Craig’s Bond. All this changes around 2012 and the 50th anniversary of Bond, the tension between the two parties seems to have melted. Skyfall goes one to commercial and critical success even if it was extremely overhyped tripe, and Brosnan for the first time admits to having watched Craig’s latest Bond praising the actor and the movie openly.
Now we come full circle with Brosnan’s recent comments and why his supporters might feel blindsided after defending him on the social media battlefield for so many years.
Brosnan was critical in the past of his time as Bond and the lack of creative control he had. Craig has some of the same complaints although he seems to have been given free reign over many of the aspects of Bond. Certainly more than any actor before him. If Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had made Sean Connery a partner with creative input in the Bond movies we might have seen him in the role a little longer and a little more enthusiastic on screen.
However Brosnan is an actor, aside from acting his job is to sell his movies, to put it more bluntly he is not selling his past, he is selling his future. Also history tends to be kinder to the humble approach than a self-aggrandizing one, be humble say my Bond was not good enough and let the critics be the ones to praise you.
Probably more to the point is Brosnan is in the process of promoting a new spy movie (perhaps a series as a sequel has already been green lit as long as the first movie proves to be popular), and this is a humble rebuke of himself while being a sly swipe at the Bond series producers. This way he gets to talk about his new movie saying it is the Bond he wanted to make while not alienating the Bond fans he hope will give The November Man a chance. He also gets the sensationalism and coverage by talking about his Bond.
While it may sting some to his fan when this thrown back in their faces. Ultimately Brosnan is not trying to bash his time as Bond, he is trying to balance the history he has a Bond with trying to move on. Possibly with his own spy series.